It is not the government’s role to pay for medical care. Many people think that the government paying for all medical care is a good idea, saying that everyone has the right to be healthy if it is possible. However, doctors provide a service for which they are paid, and rightfully so. Medicine is a business. No one has the right to medical treatment at the expense of everyone else anymore than a starving person has the right to walk into a restaurant and demand that everyone else pay a little of their bill because they are hungry and cannot afford to buy anything.
A need for something does not equal a right to it. In a speech at a Town Hall meeting on Health Care in Costa Mesa, California, Leonard Peikoff points out “that all legitimate rights have one thing in common: they are rights to action, not to rewards from other people.” A person has the right to work and buy whatever they can afford, but they do not have the right to demand that other people (the public) work and buy what they (the needy individual) cannot afford. Furthermore, in his speech, Peikoff mentions that we all have the right to life, but this “does not mean that your neighbors have to feed and clothe you; it means you have the right to earn your food and clothes yourself, if necessary by a hard struggle, and that no one can forcibly stop your struggle for these things or steal them from you.” The right to life does not mean the right to support from others. It is such with medicine. A right to life does not mean other people have to pay for someone else’s health care.
Many people argue against the very idea that no one has the right to universal health care by stating that it is indeed people’s life at stake, and people who cannot afford it will die without medical treatment. Death due to unfulfilled needs is not the government’s responsibility. The government’s only role is to protect the citizens. It is not for the government to provide every need to its people, it is only for the government to provide safety to its people. For the people who are in need, there are people who are willing to help and donate money. But it must be an act of will, not coercion at the hands of the government.